The truth is, social media can be such a time consuming activity. So time consuming that it now accounts for 18% of all time spent online.
With the average Facebook user spending about 7 hours each month on the site, the average Twitter user spending 21 minutes each month Tweeting, and the average LinkedIn user spending 17 minutes a month on the site, it’s clear that people devote a lot of time to social networking.
All this time spent on social media is no surprise either. According to a 2014 survey report, 92% of marketers see social media as being important to their business up from 86% the year before.
Now, this is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because it represents an opportunity for you. With people spending so much time on social networks, you have the chance to connect with them and achieve a range of PR and marketing goals.
On the other hand, It’s bad because you can easily get sucked in and spend more time on social networks than you need to.
Effective social networking is, in large part, about efficiency. You need to spend time growing your networking and spreading your message, but you have to be careful that you’re not spending too much time on this task either.
So, how can you be more efficient at social networking?
Schedule time for social networking each day
Scheduling your networking is an effective way to avoid spending too much time on social media.
For example, you could set aside 15 minutes each day at 9:00, 12:00, and 3:00 for logging on to your social networks, responding to comments, sharing things, etc. Set a timer and stick to whatever schedule you come up with.
This is a very good posting schedule that shows the ideal times you should share content on social media. You should remember that all social media networks are not the same so you bear that in mind when scheduling your posts.
Have a purpose each time you get online
We’ve all been there before. You have just logged on Facebook before and, next thing you know, you’ve killed an hour or more watching videos, stalking old friends, liking photos, and doing all the other things we do to kill time online.
Stop it now!
It is easy to waste time searching your feeds for anything new. Avoid wasting time by making sure you have a specific task in mind when you log on. Maybe that task is to post a status update, or maybe it’s to respond to someone who mentioned you in a tweet. Know your purpose and stick to the task at hand.
Establish your goals
Social media is one of the easiest things to lose focus on. After all, it’s all about engagement. And just as you are trying to get your audience to engage with you, others are trying to get you to engage with them.
Of course, engagement is a reciprocal, but you can’t allow that to interfere with your own social media goals, not to mention the rest of your schedule.
There are three main goals businesses can use social media for:
- Attract followers
- Generate traffic or leads
- Build and maintain relationships
While most businesses would like to accomplish all three, it can be difficult. It is best to focus on just one. Don’t worry, the other two will also happen naturally, just to a lesser degree.
By clearly identifying the primary goal of your social media presence, you will be able to narrow your focus and increase your efficiency. You could also limit your social network accounts to just two or three.
Identify your target audience
The same passion that causes entrepreneurs to see opportunity everywhere can also cause them to pursue every opportunity they see. The result? Usually failure. There are really two messages here:
- Identify the market you want to reach. Sometimes, the nature of the product dictates the target market. On the other hand, some products have broad appeal. But just because you think everyone can benefit from a particular product doesn’t necessarily mean you should target everyone.
- Identify one or two social media networks. Many social media marketers try to engage on too many social media networks at once. But it’s more efficient to master one or two, then add more later.
This is an example of how social media demographics are made up of. You can use this to determine where your target audience will most likely be located.
Of course, you must choose the networks you use with your target market in mind. For example, if they are not on Pinterest, don’t waste time using Pinterest.
So, identify your target market and the best social media outlets to use.
Automate certain tasks
When it comes to social networking, many people see automation as a nasty word. I’m not telling you to automate everything.
I’m suggesting you automate certain tasks to help you save time. For example, you can schedule the bulk of your status updates in advance and have them publish automatically at specific times in the future.
Just make sure the updates you are scheduling in advance will be relevant when they are posted.
Create posts in bunches.
If you are like many people, when an idea for a social media post pops into your head, you drop whatever you are doing, write the post, and post it. The problem with this practice is it interferes with whatever you were doing when the idea hit.
A better way to handle these ideas is to jot them down in a notebook or on your mobile device. Then, at a pre-scheduled time, review your notes, create those awesome posts, and cue them up in an automated posting tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.
Pre-planning your posts helps ensure that you don’t miss or forget something important.
Create an editorial calendar
One of the most important elements of successful social media marketing is consistency. You can’t expect success posting once or twice a week.
Consistency requires scheduling. That is where an editorial calendar comes in. You can make your editorial calendar as simple or as complicated as your needs demand. The main point here is to create one, and follow it.
Measure Your Results
There are many tools available for monitoring social networks for brand mentions. These tools will notify you each time someone posts about your company, so you can respond in a timely manner.
This saves you time as you don’t have to constantly log on and track everything in real time to see if someone is talking about you.
Mention.com is a very useful tool for monitoring your social media networks. This tool will alert you if you have been mentioned in any post.
In any marketing effort, it is important to know how well something is working.
Social media is no different. Monitoring is the only way to know whether to continue what you are doing, make adjustments and press forward, or scrap it altogether and try something else.
Your ability to measure the results of what you are doing, and take action on that information, is the ultimate competitive advantage. We all know how important a competitive advantage is to successful social media marketing, don’t we.
If your business is to be successful, it is imperative that you have a strong social presence. A lot of your success on social media depends on how you balance your time and resources.
If you happen to waste too much time on social media wandering aimlessly, you will not achieve your business objectives.
Do you have any more tips on how to be efficient on social media? Let me now in the comments below!
Feature Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In Post Images: Quicksrout.com
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